He said he raised his objections in April, August and November 2002. My condolences to his family.”, Tony Fratto, who served as O’Neill’s Treasury spokesman, described O'Neill as a “working class guy” who "cared about how things impacted real people.”. It was part of a move by Bush to shake up his economic team and find a better salesman for a new round of tax cuts the president hoped would stimulate a sluggish economy. His campaign to raise worker safety improved Alcoa’s record to 0.2 lost workday incidents, or accidents for every 100 workers that led to days off work, from 1.86, according to one Harvard study. [6], In December 1997, O'Neill together with Karen Wolk Feinstein, President of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, founded the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI). O’Neill departed in December 2002 after those he challenged took offense, and publications including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal predicted his sacking. In previous government stints, Mr. O’Neill had been involved in matters ranging from tax policy, health care and welfare reform to food stamps, busing and housing. The book reached No. [27], In April 2016, he was one of eight former Treasury secretaries who called on the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union ahead of the June 2016 Referendum.

After a few surgeries and chemotherapy, he decided against any further intervention four or five months ago, he said.

Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed.

After college, he began his career in government in 1961, working for the Veterans Administration. On Saturday, Mr. O’Neill died at his home in Pittsburgh at 84. Initially, he was willing to do some political heavy-lifting for Bush, helping push a $1.35 trillion tax cut through Congress in 2001 faster than lawmakers had predicted.

[6], After President Gerald Ford lost the 1976 election, O'Neill took an executive job at International Paper in New York City. During Ford’s presidency, O’Neill developed friendships with Greenspan, then chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Donald Rumsfeld and Cheney, who both served as chief of staff. [6][7], In 1989, he was approached by George H. W. Bush to be Secretary of Defense. He resumed working with the Pittsburgh Regional Health Care Initiative, a consortium of hospitals, medical societies and businesses studying ways to improve health care delivery in Western Pennsylvania. “There was some family here and he died peacefully,” the son said. He cautioned, for example, that Mr. Bush’s tax cuts were ill-advised.

As Treasury secretary, O’Neill had focused attention on poverty and combating diseases such as AIDS in Africa, touring the continent with Irish rock star Bono. He was 84. “Saddened to hear of the passing of the former 72nd Treasury Secretary,” Steven Mnuchin, the current U.S. Treasury chief, said on Twitter. "And, if we did that, it would solve everything. The company's market value increased from $3 billion in 1986 to $27.53 billion in 2000, while net income increased from $200 million to $1.484 billion.

He fathered four children including three daughters named Patricia, Margaret, Julie and a son named Paul Jr.[5][4], O'Neill died at his home in Pittsburgh on April 18, 2020, aged 84, from lung cancer. [15], O'Neill was also a member of Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College's Dean's Advisory Council. [1] He was fired in December 2002 for his public disagreement with the administration. To his amazement, he found the company had no systematic knowledge of its strengths and weaknesses; the framework Mr. O’Neill created set him on the path to become president of the company. After leaving the Cabinet, O’Neill returned to Pittsburgh, where he had headed Alcoa from 1987 to 1999. “Based on his situation, it was a good exit.”. Cheney and Alan Greenspan, who headed the Federal Reserve when O’Neill was Treasury secretary, are among the past recipients of the award. [17], In 2006, he published the results of a study conducted from 2003-5 at Allegheny General Hospital along with a team of doctors led by Richard Shannon, in the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

In May 2002, he visited Africa with Bono to draw attention to the continent's poor. His mother was Gaynold (Irving) O’Neill. All Rights Reserved. He annoyed others in the administration by telling lawmakers that Bush's signature tax cut drive was not likely to boost the economy in the short term. He was forced to resign after he objected to a second round of tax cuts because of their impact on deficits. O’Neill and his wife, Nancy, had four children: Patricia, Margaret, Julie and Paul. O’Neill, a former Treasury secretary who broke with Bush over tax policy and then produced a book critical of the administration, died Saturday, April 18, 2020. But it was Cheney who told O’Neill that the president wanted his resignation. At the same time, he won praise for improving worker safety and labor relations, increasing productivity and fostering an egalitarian open-door policy with his employees. [5][11][18], In June 2019, he was awarded the Gerald R. Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. Global Business and Financial News, Stock Quotes, and Market Data and Analysis. O'Neill and his wife, Nancy, had four children. During his tenure, he turned around an old-economy company over a nearly 12-year period in which U.S. manufacturers hemorrhaged more than 200,000 jobs. As a teenager, Paul worked part-time jobs including as a paperboy and as a clerk at a convenience store. 2 official in the White House budget office in 1974 and became friends with fellow Ford administration officials Cheney and Alan Greenspan, the future Fed chairman. Have a confidential tip for our reporters?

As the secretary he strongly disagreed with the strong dollar policy, ceremonial speeches and large bailouts, while favoring personally touring American factories and reducing the length of written statements by the finance ministers belonging to the Group of Seven. Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC delivered to your inbox. O’Neill depicted Bush as a disengaged president who didn’t encourage debate either at Cabinet meetings or in one-on-one discussions with Cabinet members. Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed. Paul O'Neill, the blunt-spoken former head of Alcoa Corp who was fired after two rocky years as U.S. President George W. Bush's Treasury secretary, died on Saturday at the age of 84 at his home in Pittsburgh, The Wall Street Journal reported. He served @USTreasury and America with distinction during challenging times. That investor later called it one of his worst decisions. In June 2019, O’Neill received the Gerald R. Ford Medal for Distinguished Public Service, according to a piece in his hometown paper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. They were all wrong. Paul H. O’Neill had just presided over a celebrated revival of the aluminum giant Alcoa and was about to begin his retirement in late 2000 with a long drive across the back roads of America in a new Bentley Flying Spur. After graduating with an economics degree from California State University in Fresno in 1961, O’Neill joined the Veterans Administration in Washington, working as a computer systems analyst. Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes. Early on, Bush described O’Neill as a “steady hand” who would soothe investors after nominating him on the advice of Dick Cheney, who became vice president, and then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. O’Neill’s business acumen and eagerness to buck convention did produce results. O'Neill was born in St. Louis, Missouri, the son of Gaynald Elsie (Irvin) and John Paul O'Neill, an army sergeant.

O'Neill saw the United States through the 2001 recession and 9/11 attacks. In an administration that shunned disunity, O’Neill disagreed with two of its most contentious foreign and domestic policies: the decision to invade Iraq and a second round of tax cuts to revive the economy. Probably his biggest career success was at Alcoa, which had suffered after making a series of poor acquisitions before he joined as chief executive in 1987. O'Neill is survived by his wife, four children, 12 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.

Mr. O'Neill, he said, “knew more about government life than most people in government.”, Mr. O’Neill acknowledged that he had misjudged the influence he could have in the Bush administration.

With a daughter in college, a financially pinched Mr. O’Neill was recruited by the International Paper Company in 1977 to be vice president of strategic planning. When he returned to Cal State, he graduated in three years. Brazil's government protested after O'Neill worried publicly that money lent to Latin American countries would vanish into Swiss bank accounts. In addition he also acted as an angel investor with his son Paul Jr. for Qcept Technologies Inc. in 2004. O’Neill’s blunt speaking style more than once got him in trouble as Treasury secretary. Greenspan served on Alcoa's board when the aluminum company was searching for a new leader, and recruited O'Neill.

Michael Tomasky, writing in The New York Times Book Review, said it showed how “deeply corrupted” traditions of public service had become.

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